South’s Ben­ninghoff set to reach new heights at UNC

The Advance of Bucks County - - SPORTS - By Steve Sherman

Buck­sLo­calS­ports Ed­i­tor mole-vault­ing, Coun­cil oock pouth track C field coach Ken Worthen said, is one of the few sports that al­ways ends in fail­ure.

The state­ment is no less true for Co pouth se­nior Amanda Ben­ninghoff. That said, Ben­ninghoff never let any of her fail­ures stand in the way of her success.

lver the last four years at pouth, Ben­ninghoff has worked her way to the top of her pro­fes­sion. Last spring at the coot Locker r.p. Na­tional Track C cield meet held an­nu­ally in dreens­boro, North Carolina, she vaulted over 12 feet, 1M and PL4 inches, al­most an inch more than the school record held by Co pouth alum Tory Worthen E12-1M).

Now, Ben­ninghoff is tak­ing her game to the next level and will com­pete next sea­son at the rniver­sity of North Carolina. Ben­ninghoff went pub­lic with her com­mit­ment to the Tar Heels this morn­ing Eceb. U) in a Na­tional pign­ing aay cer­e­mony at pouth. phe and six oth­ers in­clud­ing Alexis Hof­s­taedter EWil­liam C Mary bas­ket­ball), wrestler m.g. ptein­metz Emenn ptate), oyan clem­ing Eout­gersL base­ball), maige Mcaow­ell ELa­palleL soc­cer), Chris­tine Bes­sel­man ELafayet­teL lacrosse) and Chris ppadara Emitts­burghL track C field) an­nounced their in­ten­tions to take their re­spec­tive games to the next level.

In her re­cruit­ment process, Ben­ninghoff spent some time look­ing into some big-time aivi­sion I pro­grams in­clud­ing those at Wil­liam C Mary, menn, Wake cor­est and Van­der­bilt. In the end, she chose rNC be­cause she said it was the best fit, and by that, she didn’t mean easy.

“It’s hard aca­dem­i­cally and it’s hard ath­let­i­cally,” ex­plained Ben­ninghoff.

“You’re sup­posed to look for a place where you see your­self – where you see a face like yours and that’s where I saw mine.”

When this all started, Ben­ninghoff said she en­vi­sioned her­self go­ing far in gymnastics or soc­cer, cer­tainly not pole-vault­ing.

“As a fresh­man, I don’t think I ever imag­ined this; I didn’t think I’d go that far,” she said. “lnce I saw I had tal­ent do­ing this, it just seemed like a nat­u­ral course of ac­tion.”

Amanda

is a nat­u­ral al- right. Af­ter set­ting a fresh­man record by clear­ing nine feet in ninth grade, she’s reached for the stars. With her ju­nior year came a first­place medal in dis­tricts, sec­ond in in­door states, fifth at out­door states and sec­ond at na­tion­als.

“I had a really good fresh­man year and I pretty much have had a level of pro­gres­sion in pole vault­ing since I started.

“That’s really worked for me be­cause I’m not the type of per­son who is just go­ing to want to stay at a cer­tain height. I’m go­ing to keep work­ing no mat­ter what it takes to get to that next height.”

Her tough­est chal­lenge at pouth, she says, was be­ing the team cap­tain.

“It was a big honor but it came with more chal­lenges than I thought – get­ting the team to be more uni­fied,” said Ben­ninghoff, adding

that she’s still work­ing on her lead­er­ship skills. “In track, there’s so many dif­fer­ent events and it’s hard to get ev­ery­one all to­gether.”

Lead­er­ship also has its re­ward, though. Last sea­son, the Hawks cap­tured a run­ner-up medal in the Sub­ur­ban One Na­tional League meet.

If the cards play out at UNC the way they’ve turned up at South, Ben­ninghoff will find her­self in the medal round many times with the Tar Heels.

*** NOTES: Ben­ninghoff also works on her game at ser­ti­cal As­sault, a club team in Beth­le­hem. A se­nior now com­pet­ing at Prince­ton, Tory Worthen still holds the record for pole-vault­ing at South as Ben­ninghoff eclipsed the 12-10 mark at a na­tional meet. A state cham­pion in 2009, Tory is a six-time Ivy League cham­pion, the Ivy League record-holder (136.5) and was the 2012 Ivy League MsP.

Amanda Ben­ninghoff Coun­cil Rock South pole-vaulter is head­ing to UNC.

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